The US government added several carriers and associated companies based in the Middle East and Balkan regions to its list of entities accused of activities “contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.” According to the US government, all of these carriers and companies are owned, operated, or controlled by Jaideep Mirchandani and his family members, including Indira Mirchandani and Nitin Mirchandani.
Included on the list are carriers Rayyan Air, Veteran Avia, and Aerospace One. Also included are Agneet Sky Limited, Aeolus FZE, Aerospace Company FZE, Aircon Beibars FZE, and Aristeidis A. Pappas.
In its filing, the US government said: “Specifically, these companies owned, operated, or controlled by Jaideep Mirchandani (Mirchandani) and his family members, Indira Mirchandani and Nitin Mirchandani, have been involved in activities in support of the Syrian regime. In addition, Mirchandani and certain other entities were attempting to export a U.S. aircraft that would be used to further support the Syrian regime.”
In addition, the filing said the companies and the Mirchandani family, “have supported flights into Syria in support of the Assad regime. These flights transported large amounts of Russian currency to the Syrian Government. Additionally, the Mirchandanis and their corporate officers/employees have engaged in transactions with individuals involved in weapons trafficking as well as individuals and companies named on the U.S. Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) list, including Mahan Air of Iran and its affiliates.”
The full text of the filing is available in the US Federal Register, and can be seen here.
Aerospace One is a recent Greece-based startup that briefly had two 747-200Fs and was trying to acquire another, while Veteran Avia (Armenia) and Rayyan Air (Pakistan) have been operating 747-200Fs on an ACMI and charter basis for many years. All three carriers now appear to have ceased operations.
Through a correspondence to Cargo Facts from his attorney, Mr. Mirchandani, his family, and their associated companies deny all the allegations made against them in relation to the BIS investigation, believe they have been placed on the Entity List in error, and have begun a legal challenge to remove themselves from the list. Additionally, the Mirchandanis maintain that they neither own, operate nor control Rayyan Air (Pakistan) and/or Veteran Air (Armenia).